In Twin Peaks "Part XI," "There Will Be Fire" (and Blood, and Vomit, and Cherry Pie)

("The Return," Part XI)

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In <i>Twin Peaks</i> "Part XI," "There Will Be Fire" (and Blood, and Vomit, and Cherry Pie)

Just in case you think reviewing this show in a cogent manner is, like, easy? If it were, everyone would do it. It’s all connected. It’s just hard to say exactly how or why sometimes. In “Part XI,” Dougie Jones finally tastes cherry pie. It doesn’t snap him out of it, and it’s a really unfortunate visual echo of whatever happened to Matt Lillard’s head back in Buckhorn, but I’ve been waiting for that moment.

In Twin Peaks, Miriam the schoolteacher crawls half-dead out of the woods near two boys playing catch-bummer for Richard Horne, he got the Inept Evil gene from Uncle Jerry’s side of the family. Miriam is alive and, presuming she retains the power of speech, now has a lot to say about Horne if the Sherriff gets to her before she’s, like, mauled by owls or something. Speaking of multigenerational dysfunction, Becky Briggs’ life seems so mundanely shitty and violent compared to what her mom went through with 27-years-ago Bobby and the now-thankfully-dead Leo Johnson that it’s hard to imagine neither of her parents point it out to her when she steals Shelly’s car, throws Shelly off the hood into the Fat Trout Trailer Park and screeches off in a gun-brandishing rage to kill her adorable hubby. (No dice.) As Becky, Bobby and Shelly are all having a sit-down in the RR Diner, we can see some serious mixed feelings in Bobby as Shelly dashes out to have a quick make-out session with Balthazar Getty. Then another gun’s fired and bullets shower the diner. Bobby goes to investigate. The gun’s been fired by a really creepy kid who’s apparently just up and found it in the backseat. When Bobby tries to do some traffic-calming he finds himself confronted by a totally hysterical older woman driving some kind of vomiting teen zombie. (Yo, David: Could you back off the puke trope just a little bit? Some of us have phobias, man. Thanks.)

In South Dakota, Cole, Albert, Tammy and “Fuck You” Diane go to investigate the last place Matt Lillard remembers being before… well, “Part I.” They find his wife’s body, which is not that interesting compared to the swirling trans-dimensional gateway vortex thing that opens up in the sky and almost eats Cole, who’s transfixed by the image of “dirty bearded men in a room.” Albert manages to pull him away but by that time, a Dirty Bearded that only Albert, Gordon and Diane can see manages to get into a cop car and scoop Lillard’s brain out of his skull.

Hawk and Truman look at a “living” symbolic map and discuss the significance of the symbols (most of them are not good) as they continue to unravel the Garland Briggs mystery. Truman pauses over a strange symbol and Hawk says “You don’t ever want to know what that means.” Me either, but I bet it involves evil dirty bearded brain-eaters, Killer Bob, the Black Lodge, the reptile-bug-monster that flew into that girl’s mouth in 1946, and/or projectile vomiting. Wherever he’s going, the Log Lady tells Hawk, “there will be fire.”

In Vegas, the Mitchum Brothers prepare to kill Dougie. Only Bradley is having some dyspepsia over it because he had a prophetic dream-remember when Cooper had those? When they all meet in the desert, Bradley freaks out as Dougie gets out of the limo with a large box, telling his brother that he dreamed this, too, and that if one specific crazy thing happens to be in that box they can’t kill him.

“Cherry pie,” Dougie confirms. Frisking him, they find the insurance company has paid $30 million on their fire claim, and suddenly everyone’s… feeling much better. They go to dinner and teach Dougie how to make a toast with champagne. Anyone waiting for the cherry pie to turn Dougie back into Cooper was probably being foolish; if the coffee didn’t do it and sex with Naomi Watts didn’t do it… maybe… shit, well, maybe it isn’t going to happen at all.

I choose not to believe that. We deviate from the Roundhouse Concert Series ending trope and watch Dougie become transfixed by the piano player near their dinner table, whose music morphs into something that sounds a lot like Angelo Badalamenti wrote it. The crazy old lady from Dougie’s big night as “Mister Jackpots” walks past, dolled up in a pretty dress and clean hair. “Mister Jackpots,” she gushes. “You gave me back my life. I’m so thankful I got to say thank you again.”

“Thank you again,” Dougie echoes, his eyes fixed on nothing. The slow arpeggios roll. Is Cooper going to get his life back? At least for a little while?

Sometimes I imagine the storyboards for this 18-hour movie might look a lot like Hawk’s ancient map. But that all of this is completely connected, I have no doubt.

Also, a PSA from David Lynch: Guns do not solve problems, they create them. OK. Just so we’re clear. We can talk more about the vortex in the sky when it opens up again, as I have no doubt it will.



Amy Glynn is a poet, essayist and fiction writer who really likes that you can multi-task by reviewing television and glasses of Cabernet simultaneously. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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